Definition of engulf in English:

engulf

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1(of a natural force) sweep over (something) so as to surround or cover it completely.

    ‘the cafe was engulfed in flames’
    figurative ‘Europe might be engulfed by war’
    • ‘This caused a catastrophic flood that engulfed the whole island.’
    • ‘Are these a coincidence, or has an evil force engulfed the town?’
    • ‘Teachers, students and parents stood behind yellow police tape and watched dumbfounded as their school was engulfed in amber flames.’
    • ‘The bus driver and two passengers fled from the bus seconds before it was engulfed in flames in St George's Road, last week.’
    • ‘Consider the unprecedented scenes of anarchy and chaos that engulfed Britain last Monday night.’
    • ‘When they arrived on the scene, the house was engulfed in flames with the blaze having spread to the upstairs area of the family home.’
    • ‘After failing to get to the girls, Waddington ran from her home screaming to the neighbours for help just before the house was completely engulfed in flames and smoke.’
    • ‘The rain stopped and the sun crept out, engulfing the whole garden with its pale gold afternoon light.’
    • ‘Pedestrians were stopped in their tracks and cars came to standstill as the huge blanket of smoke threatened to engulf the whole town.’
    • ‘The family's terrace house was quickly engulfed in flames.’
    • ‘In three minutes, the club was engulfed in flames.’
    • ‘He said by the time he arrived home, his entire house was engulfed in flames.’
    • ‘Its corridors were engulfed in choking smoke as the fire took hold.’
    • ‘All of a sudden the place was engulfed in massive red and yellow flames.’
    • ‘Within minutes, however, the entire city was engulfed in a torrent of rain - easily one of the heaviest in recent times.’
    • ‘When the police arrived 20 minutes later, the bus was still engulfed in flames, which hampered rescue efforts.’
    • ‘The place was already engulfed in flames when he and his roommate Jerome awoke.’
    • ‘However, the country was soon engulfed in a bloody civil war in which one million people lost their lives out of a population of 14 million.’
    • ‘Mr Swales said flames were coming out of the front door and the living room was engulfed in fire.’
    • ‘A woman was plucked from a car seconds before it was engulfed in flames.’
    inundate, flood, deluge, immerse, swamp, wash out, swallow up, submerge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Eat or swallow (something) whole.
      ‘the toad can engulf nestling birds’
  • 2Powerfully affect (someone); overwhelm.

    ‘a feeling of anguish so great that it threatened to engulf him’
    • ‘My mind was sending too many thoughts, too many flashes and words, too much for me to take in, fatigue threatening to engulf me.’
    • ‘She would not allow herself to wallow in the misery that had been threatening to engulf her since his death.’
    • ‘The room was spinning probably due to lack of food and injury, closing her eyes to block out the sickness threatening to engulf her - it was hot in the room, really hot.’
    • ‘A deep, overwhelming wave of emotion engulfed me, and I felt tears well in my eyes.’
    • ‘Overwhelming relief and joy engulfed Jason upon seeing her and he took a step forward.’
    • ‘He recalled how just the sight of his daughter in the early years had brought his grief flooding to the surface where it had threatened to engulf him.’
    • ‘Rose went and sat down, as the memories threatened to engulf her.’
    • ‘Loren fought the feeling of helpless panic that threatened to engulf him.’
    • ‘As she opens her son's wardrobe a wave of emotion engulfs her and her expression becomes a mixture of love and anguish.’
    • ‘His infectious enthusiasm and energy engulfs players and supporters alike.’
    inundate, flood, deluge, immerse, swamp, wash out, swallow up, submerge
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century (formerly also as ingulf): from en-, in- ‘in, on’ + gulf.

Pronunciation

engulf

/ɪnˈɡʌlf//ɛnˈɡʌlf/